Here’s a breakdown of the Kansas City Chiefs’ salary-cap picture on defense and special teams. In an earlier post I broke down their salary-cap situation on offense.
Salary-cap commitments: $6,649,267
Percent of Chiefs’ total cap: 5.1
NFL average: $12,840,629
Chiefs rank on DE spending: 25th among 32 teams
Analysis: The Chiefs are spending only about half of the league average on these positions. For purposes of this discussion, Mike DeVito is labelled as an end because he’s basically a run defender who comes out of the game on passing downs. He makes up most of the Chiefs’ cap spending at this spot with a figure of $4.9 million.
Salary-cap commitments: $5,407,274
Percent of Chiefs’ total cap: 4.2
NFL average: $8,979,256
Chiefs rank on DT spending: 22nd among 32 teams
Analysis: The Chiefs are again well below the league average here (about 40 percent below) and that’s counting not only Dontari Poe but Vance Walker as tackles. Poe is still playing under his rookie contract and has a cap number of $3,087,274. That’s only 27th highest among NFL defensive tackles.
Salary-cap commitments: $23,066,768
Percent of Chiefs’ total cap: 17.8
NFL average: $15,526,469
Chiefs rank on LB spending: 5th among 32 teams
Analysis: The Chiefs spend more than 50 percent beyond the league average at linebacker, but they’re getting their money’s worth. Outside linebackers Tamba Hali and Justin Houston and Derrick Johnson on the inside are each working on a string of at least two consecutive Pro Bowl appearances. Hali alone accounts for about half ($11,464,706)of the Chiefs’ cap commitments at this position. Johnson ($4,550,000) and Houston ($1,598,812) are bargains.
Salary-cap commitments: $19,886,878
Percent of Chiefs’ total cap: 15.4
NFL average: $12,150,127
Chiefs rank on CB spending: 3rd among 32 teams
Analysis: The Chiefs spend about 67 percent more for their cornerbacks than the NFL average. One starter, Brandon Flowers, has the third-highest salary-cap number for an NFL cornerback ($10,500,000) while the other, Sean Smith, is 16th ($5,750,000). No other Chiefs cornerback has a cap figure above $1 million.
Salary-cap commitments: $13,319,700
Percent of Chiefs’ total cap: 10.3
NFL average: $8,333,907
Chiefs rank on safety spending: 6th among 32 teams
Analysis: The Chiefs spend about 67 percent more than the league average at this position, mainly because of Eric Berry and his cap number of $11,619,700. Berry was drafted fifth overall in 2010, the last year before the NFL overhauled rookie contracts, so he’s benefitting from the huge deal he signed then. Berry has the highest salary-cap number for a safety and the only one over $10.1 million.
Salary-cap commitments: $2,708,750
Percent of Chiefs’ total cap: 2.1
NFL average: $1,864,515
Chiefs rank on kicker spending: 8th among 32 teams
Analysis: The Chiefs have about 47 percent more committed to Ryan Succop than the average NFL team does to its kicker.
Salary-cap commitments: $3,800,000
Percent of Chiefs’ total cap: 2.9
NFL average: $1,706,906
Chiefs rank on punter spending: 2nd among 32 teams
Analysis: Here’s another sign the Chiefs value their kicking specialists more than some other teams. Re-signing Dustin Colquitt to a new contract was a priority for general manager John Dorsey and coach Andy Reid when they were hired last year. His cap number is more than twice that of the average NFL punter.
Salary-cap commitments: $595,000
Percent of Chiefs’ total cap: .5
NFL average: $838,863
Chiefs rank on LS spending: 23rd among 32 teams
Analysis: The Chiefssigned Thomas Gafford to his second straight one-year contract worth the NFL minimum.